Kikkan Randall is the United States’ most decorated cross-country skier. With three World Championship medals, one in each color, 33 World Cup podium finishes, 13 of those for gold, Randall has repeatedly pushed her body to its limit in order to compete with the world’s elite in her sport. Despite cross-country’s niche status in the U.S., in Europe, Kikkan Randall is a household name, where she commands superstar status.
After her 2014-15 season, the physical and mental grind of the cross-country tour had taken its toll on the Alaska resident. Wanting to start a family with her husband, retired Canadian alpine skier Jeff Ellis, the couple decided the time was right and Randall took a two-year break from competition. They welcomed their first born, a son they named Breck, in April 2016. By November, Kikkan was back on the World Cup race circuit. In March 2017, she solidified her return, winning her first world championship medal since 2013 in Lahti, Finland, a bronze, in her signature event, the sprint.
No U.S. woman has ever won an Olympic cross-country medal. As the only constant on each of the past three U.S. women’s Olympic relay teams, Randall believes PyeongChang represents the best chance for the U.S. women to end their medal drought. Racing to a fourth place finish at the 2017 World Championships, the lineup consisting of Randall, Jessie Diggins, Liz Stephen and Sadie Bjornsen will likely ski in their second consecutive Olympic relay as medal threats.
PyeongChang represents Randall’s fifth, and final, trip to the Olympic Games, as she has said she plans to retire from the sport she has emblazoned with her signature hot pink hair for more than a decade.
Getting to know Kikkan Randall
Made her Olympic debut in the same city as her birth, Salt Lake City, UT
Her first name was partly inspired by Christina “Kiki” Cutter, who in 1968 became the first U.S. alpine skier to win a World Cup event
President of the non-profit Fast and Female, whose mission is to keep girls active in sport